Can you grow an extra row of produce for the Real Junk Food Project?

"Carbon Neutral 2030"

Last week, 10 to 16 August, was National Allotment week so it might be a good time for residents with green fingers to take part in the ‘Grow an extra row’ campaign by the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP).

The RJFP runs cafes across Brighton & Hove using surplus food to create delicious and nutritious meals, help combat loneliness and provide training opportunities for volunteers.

The cafes are open to all and operate on a pay-as-you-feel basis, so the RFJP relies on a volunteer led structure and can always use more donations.

To keep the cafes going in the way they do, the folks at the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP) teamed up with the Brighton & Hove Allotment Federation early in 2020, to urge residents to ‘Grow an extra row’ of produce if they can, and donate tit to the project, be it veg, herbs or fruit.

Although it seems like a lifetime ago, we thought National Allotment Week would be a great opportunity to shine a light on the RJFP and their campaign, encouraging those that already grow food to grow some more and to ask those that don’t to give it a go!

Sowing the seeds of change

While we know that people have already supported this campaign, we would encourage even more green-fingered residents to take part.

A lot of food is wasted in the modern world and this initiative by the RJFP and the Brighton & Hove Allotment Federation encourages a personal relationship with food and the benefits it can bring to society.

If you have space for a row of vegetables in your garden or a herb garden on your balcony (or even kitchen windowsill), any contribution would be welcome and help with sowing the seeds of change.

Paul Loman from the Real Junk Food Project said: "We've been blown away by the generosity of local growers.  

"Last week alone we received kale, courgettes and green beans to go into the meals that we make.

"The kale found its way on to avocado toast, the courgettes roasted for a frittata, and the green beans into our Buddha bowls.  

"All this was served to the people of Brighton & Hove on a pay-as-you-feel donation basis."

Councillor Amy Heley, joint chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee said: “Too much food is wasted in the world and more specifically Brighton & Hove.

“Projects like the Real Junk Food Project highlight this issue and work towards a world where we are more considerate and limit food waste where we can.

“By turning food excess into a community benefit like pay-as-you-feel meals, this project is paving the way for a climate conscious city and I hope that others follow in their footsteps.”

How to help

You can find out how to donate produce to the project on the Real Junk Food Project website or volunteer at one of their cafes.

Read more on the Brighton & Hove Allotment Federation on their website, liking them on their Facebook page or signing up to their newsletters.

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